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Druther

A Druther is a type of weaker wood golem that can only be created by a witch. The name comes from an old piece of doggerel often muttered by witches,

Liber Mysterium

The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks

By Timothy S. Brannan and The Netbook of Witches and Warlocks Team

Druther
Illustration of Der Zauberlehrling. From: German book, Goethe’s werke, 1882, by S. Barth

-If I really had my druthers, I’d have my wooden druthers too.-

A Wooden Druther is a corrupt form of -wouldn’t I’d rathers-, or something the witch doesn’t want. So the Wooden Druther performs tasks that the witch would rather not do herself. The druther can understand simple command phrases of about 15 words each. Typically druthers are used for menial labour or to perform a task that the witch cannot do or won’t do herself, like killing or scaring an enemy. Often a witch will have a few druthers protecting her home while disguised as trees (Spot DC 25 when so Disguised).

A druther cannot communicate at all. Some witches have used woody reeds in the construction of their druthers. When the wind blows across the druther it sounds like a deep bassoon.

Druthers can appear in any form. Usually they are biped and always made of wood. The wood can be carved or a collection of sticks tied together. The appendages need to be attached separately if the druther is to move at all. They can be precisely carved to appear as anything the witch wants, but they typically look like walking bunches of sticks. Legend has it that there was a witch that had such beautifully carved druthers that they were often mistaken for wood nymphs.

Treants, dryads, and wood nymphs view a druther in the same manner a human views the undead or a flesh golem. Most will attempt to destroy them when they can. Some witches and wizards value the wood from an inanimate druther to use to make magical fires.

Druther
Medium construct
Hit Dice9d10 (45 hp)
Initiative-1 Dexterity
Speed20 ft.
AC17 (-1 Dexterity, +8 Natural)
Attacks2 Limbs (fists or constructed weapons) +9
DamageSlam 2d6+6
Face/Reach5 ft. by 5ft./5ft.
Special Qualitiesconstruct, Damage reduction 15/+1, Immune to piercing, water and cold-based attacks. Double damage from fire based attacks.
SavesFort +3, Ref +2, Will +4
AbilitiesStrength 20, Dexterity 9, Constitution -, Intelligence -, Wisdom 11, Charisma 3
Climate/TerrainAny
OrganizationSolitary
Challenge Rating??
TreasureNone
AlignmentAlways Neutral
Advancement10-15 (Large); 15-20 (Huge)

Combat

A druther is mindless in combat. It strikes with its wood fists with almost no regard to what else is going on.

Construct: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.

Damage Reduction: The druther can ignore the first 15 points of damage dealt, unless the weapon is +1 or better. Arrows or other piercing items, such as spears or thrust Daggers, only do 1 point of damage per hit. Water base attacks have no effect on the druther whatsoever. Fire based attacks always do double damage.

Cold based attacks do no damage.

Construction

Witches of 10th level or better can construct a druther. If the witch has access to a Manual of Druthers, then she can create a Druther from that work. Otherwise a witch may opt to create one from scratch. The witch will need at least 200 pounds of wood, either as sticks, planks or individually carved pieces. She must gather these herself. The witch will need her consecrated witch tools and fine incense, which will cost the witch 2,000 GP.

After creating the body for the druther, the witch will have to cast air walk, Bless Growth, Feral Spirit, Lesser Strengthening Rite and minor creation. The ashes from the burned incense is then sprinkled on the wood. The process takes the witch one month to create and drains 1,000 XP.

Drudges

Sometimes druthers are referred to as -Drudges-, mostly due to their ability to menial work, usually around the home. While a druther may be used to do the witch’s dirty work, a drudge will do the witch’s dirty laundry. Adventurers have reported of a witch with intricately carved wood drudges as her household staff. A drudge butler was so well made that they could not tell it was a magical construct at all.

Rogue Druthers

The druther has a great tie to its animating elemental force. But sometimes the druther will break free of the witch’s control, but not of its wooden body. These druthers are known as rogues and take out their frustration the only way know, to throw themselves into any combative situation it can.

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